As if we all were in some strange, messed up movie, it seems like all days are blending together. Weekends blend into weekdays, weeks into months, while none of us know what’s up from down.
All day long the television is loaded with talking heads, celebrities on Zoom telling us that we are all in this together, and companies somehow trying to convince us that Doritos are just what we need in these “unusual and unprecedented times.” It all becomes so frustrating, so mind numbing, and so confusing. What’s good for us? What do we do? When will this end?
Most of us have spent months trying to determine the best course of action on how to get us out of this, thinking about ways to lead us through the maze that is this virus. All the while trying to adapt to a new normal that is difficult to conceive. Every day we look at graphs, charts, predictions, and any other scientific data and understanding we can. We try to apply anything we have learned to the situation to desperately quell the spread. And still, we have no answer. We are so close, but at the same time, we fight ourselves, and push ourselves deeper into the hole in every minute.
It’s the people who deny science, then demand a vaccine become available. The people who think the virus is a joke, only to beg for forgiveness when it attacks their lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. It’s okay to not know the answer, none of us do – but to knee-cap the very science and people trying to solve the biggest issue the world has seen in decades is incredibly dangerous, at best – let alone plain disrespectful.
We can go over the numbers again and again. We can talk about how it hit the amount of flu deaths in one month, we can talk about the concerning disease it is causing in the young and healthy, and we can talk about how it is decimating the most fragile our country has. But no matter what, it will only lead down the road of argumentative discourse. We don’t talk, we yell, we don’t think, we assume. All of this can be accepted, as long as we also accept the fact that we really don’t care about each other. It’s fun to pretend like we do, sharing strong words of encouragement, only to later uproot it with our careless actions and hypocritical rhetoric.
In a world where solutions are unknown, we take what we can get, we do what we can do. It’s a simple one at that, wear a mask. However, the word mask alone has turned into a four-letter-word of its own. It no longer is seen as a safety precaution, it’s now seen as a symbol of someone who has given up their rights, and are falling on their knees for the government. Forget the fact that we can still move about as we please, protest at will, and have free speech. To some, the masks are just too much.
Somehow, we have gotten to the point where we assume doctors, who have spent their entire lives dedicated to scientific research and helping patients, are now part of this elaborate scheme to destroy the world. Some think the media is nothing more than a factory of detrimental fear-mongering information – when in reality, they’re just producing facts. Some feel they very people trying to save are are only trying to gain notoriety, and cash this virus like a check at the bank.
But most shameful of all, is that we attack them. It’s bad enough not to trust and have faith in the people who know better than us, who have done their research – but it’s a whole other thing to attack them, belittle them, and make them question their own safety. Again coming down to the basic fact that some people only care about themselves, we only want to hear what is good for us, and anything else is evil.
Doctors are here to help, they’re here to care – and they’ll do it whether you feel you need them or not.
Every day we inch closer, to milestones none of us ever thought we’d see. One hundred thousand gone. They were brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and so much more. They had a story, they were meant to be someone, but their life was cut short by a virus that some deem as nothing more than a fabrication. If there is anything that is more painful, is that in someway, their death was in vain. They became the unknown, the disregarded, and the phony. There are some people who don’t know any of them, so for them their lives apparently mean nothing. But to someone else, they were the world, and now the families have to fight a second, possibly more unsettling, battle. The battle against those who simply don’t care.
Over and over again we hear how 99% recover, and “you’re probably going to be fine.” But when did that 1% of life not matter? When did we decide that giving up even a single life is justified in the name of getting a haircut. Out-loud, the argument sounds ridiculous, but it’s the one some use. Maybe deep down they know they are wrong, they feel bad about what they’re doing, but they feel safety in numbers since it never touched them. The 1% only matters when it begins to affect them.
People love to tout that we’re all in this together, but are we really? Do people deep down really care about what their neighbors are dealing with? If packed beaches and patios mean anything, if people totally refusing to follow even the most basic safety precautions, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Maybe the worst thing about this virus is the fact that it exploits the greatest weakness we have. In all reality, and more than likely, you’re going to be fine, but that doesn’t mean your family will be. In a sick twist, you could be your own nightmare, and bring the tragedy to your own doorstep. It’s not something that can be chosen, you can’t just ask it not to spread. We could be our own downfall, and we know it. And what’s most worrisome is that we don’t care. We don’t care that we can spread it to people at the store, the gym, or the var – because we don’t know them.
The virus doesn’t care that you think you’ll be okay, it doesn’t care that you’re a healthy adult, and it doesn’t care about your beach party. You may think there’s no way you’ll spread it, it’s silly. But the virus doesn’t care about that either.
But there is another side – and the fact that all of us truly do have these feelings. We feel invincible, that it can’t happen to us, and that it’s just a boogeyman that is being perpetuated by the very government of our towns. We all want to go back to normal, we all want to hug each other and see our friends again, and we all want to pretend this isn’t happening. But it is.
No one is perfect, I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be. But I hope I can still have respect for others, I hope I can worry about others, and I hope that I do my best to stop this the best that I can.
It’s okay to have feelings of confusion, disappointment, and even anger at the situation. It’s okay to feel that maybe you’re being a little too cautious, that maybe it’s okay to return to normal and put this all behind us. But what isn’t okay is to be cavalier in logic that makes no sense, to recklessly endanger those around us simply because you’re upset that life isn’t the way you want it to be, and to attack those who are desperately trying to help, while also endangering everything they value – including their own lives. It’s not okay to attack and confront those just trying to do their best, trying to do what they feel is right, just trying to get by.
This virus is something we have never seen before, but unfortunately these attitudes are something we have dealt with forever.
The virus is bad, the virus kills – but what’s worse is how we have handled it. Maybe we can be better, maybe we can finally understand that life isn’t all about us, it’s about everyone. And while you may never know someone affected, they’re there. They’re real, and they’re all human.